Bye, bye red box; hello, wee grey wheelie bin

Posted on 14/07/2014 by

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Cllr Lesley Hinds: ‘simplifying the recycling  process is essential’

RED BOX no more!

RED BOX no more!

More than 140,000 city residents will receive a new recycling service this autumn, and the first of the households affected – including neighbourhoods across North Edinburgh – will receive letters explaining the changes later this month.

The new service will be rolled out in phases, with the first stage beginning on 1 September when approximately 20,000 households will have their red boxes replaced by a new wheelie bin.

Houses affected by the first phase of changes – in Alnwickhill, Blackhall, Burdiehouse, Cleikimin, Craigentinny, Craigleith, Drylaw, Gilmerton, Goldenacre, Hyvot Bank, Joppa, Kaimes, Leith, Liberton, Lochend, Muirhouse, Niddrie, Orchard Brae, Piershill, Prestonfield, Restalrig , Southhouse, The Inch, Trinity, Wardie, Warriston and Willowbrae – will begin to receive information from mid-July, letting them know that their recycling bins and collections will be changing along with additional information on the update.

The new, slightly smaller, wheelie bin will be used for general waste and the ‘old’ standard green wheelie bin for mixed recycling. Blue boxes will still to be used for glass, food and garden recycling will continue as normal and the red box will no longer be needed.

The new arrangements will be:

  • Food waste: existing small grey bins, collected weekly (no change)
  • Garden waste: existing brown bin, collected fortnightly (no change)
  • General waste: new 140-litre grey wheelie bin, collected fortnightly
  • Glass recycling: existing blue box, collected fortnightly (no change)
  • Mixed recycling: existing 240 litre green wheelie bin, collected fortnightly.

A full scale communications and engagement campaign will also help residents adjust to the roll-out, with information packs, collection calendars and details delivered to households and posters, web and social media updates spreading the message more widely, along with a series of informative events throughout the city.

Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “We know that this new recycling service can work, as we have seen in other local authorities, and I am confident that the general public want to help us to boost recycling rates as landfill costs continue to increase.

“We will make every effort to help people adjust to the changes, engaging with communities, visiting homes, providing advice and monitoring to find out which households need most support.

“Recycling is something that everyone needs to embrace if Edinburgh is to become a sustainable city, and expanding capacity and simplifying the process for residents is essential for this.”

Councillor Adam McVey, Environment Vice Convener, added: “To meet our targets we need to see a culture-change – we want to help residents get used to the new service but the public have to take responsibility too.

“Edinburgh can and should lead the way to creating a greener Scotland, and by recycling more and sending less to landfill we can achieve this.”

Edinburgh currently recycles almost 40% of its waste but needs to continue to improve if it is to meet a target of 70% by 2025.

Not only does recycling benefit the environment but by upping rates the Council can save on the millions of pounds of taxpayers money paid each year in landfill costs.

An analysis of general waste in Edinburgh, carried out in 2010, found that more than two thirds of people’s bin contents could be recycled.

Now, by increasing capacity for recycling, simplifying the system and accepting more materials, it is hoped the new kerbside recycling service will encourage more households to recycle and sort their waste, helping to save on landfill costs and paving the way for a greener city.

This approach follows a number of other councils, including Falkirk and Fife, who have made the move to increase recycling capacity for residents.

By rolling the changes out in phases, the Council aims to learn as it progresses, helping residents to adjust to the new service by offering advice and support throughout the process.

However, not all streets will receive a new service – those who are included will receive a letter informing them this month.

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